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8 Dorm Decor Ideas to Make Your Room Feel Like Home

Student Life

August 07, 2023

August marks the winding down of summer, and with it, our poolside parties and vacations are coming to an end. As we reluctantly bid farewell to these joys, it's time to face the one thing we dread: Back to School season. While many people are busy buying school supplies and new clothes, college students have a different beast to tackle as the academic season approaches – dorm shopping!

For incoming first-year students like myself, heading off to college can be a whirlwind of emotions and overwhelming tasks. We need to gather academic supplies, update our wardrobes, and save up spending money for the school year. All this while juggling nervousness and even fear about venturing into the college experience.

Yet, amidst the chaos, dorm shopping can be the most exciting part of preparing for college. It's an opportunity for a fresh start, as we can design our new living space to reflect our unique style. Even though being away from home will be tough, we can bring a piece of home with us by customizing our dorm to our liking.

If you need help figuring out where to start, here are eight dorm decoration ideas that will help you create a dorm room you'll love!

Personalize with Photos

One of the most effective and heartfelt ways to make your dorm room feel like home is by personalizing it with photos. Photographs have the magical ability to evoke memories and emotions, reminding us of the people and moments that matter most. By surrounding yourself with cherished photos of family, friends, and fond experiences, you infuse your living space with familiarity and comfort, making it your own.

Creating a Gallery Wall:

A gallery wall is an excellent way to display a collection of photos that tell your story. Choose a variety of picture frames in different sizes, styles, and colors to add visual interest. You can mix and match photos of family gatherings, vacations, and unforgettable moments.

Consider adding handwritten notes or captions to some of the images for an extra personal touch. Arrange the frames on one of the walls in your dorm room, creating a captivating and meaningful gallery that will bring a smile to your face every time you look at it.

Memory Board or Collage:

Consider creating a memory board or collage if you prefer a more casual and dynamic approach. Get a corkboard or a large bulletin board and pin up your favorite photos, postcards, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia from significant events. This ever-changing display will reflect your ongoing experiences and provide an excellent conversation piece when friends visit your room.

Hanging Photo Strings:

Use strings of fairy lights or decorative twine to hang your photos for a whimsical and charming look. Clip the pictures to the string with miniature clothespins or decorative clips. This setup not only adds a warm glow to your room but also showcases your treasured memories in a playful and unique way.

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Cozy Bedding

Your dorm room is not just a place to sleep; it's your sanctuary, your refuge after a long day of classes and activities. Creating a cozy and comfortable bed setup is essential to ensure a good night's sleep and make your room feel like home.

Quality Bedding Essentials:

Investing in high-quality bedding essentials is a must. Start with a comfortable mattress topper or pad, as dorm mattresses can often be firm and uncomfortable. A plush mattress topper will add an extra layer of cushioning, making your bed feel much cozier. Pair it with a good-quality mattress protector to keep your bed clean and hygienic throughout the year.

Soft and Stylish Sheets:

Choose soft and breathable sheets in your favorite color or pattern. Opt for materials like cotton or microfiber for a luxurious feel against your skin. Consider getting multiple sheet sets so you can easily change them when doing laundry.

Fluffy Pillows:

The right pillows can make a world of difference regarding comfort. Invest in a couple of high-quality pillows that suit your preferred sleeping position – whether you're a side, back, or stomach sleeper. Consider getting some decorative throw pillows as well to add a touch of style to your bed.

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Wall Art

When it comes to dorm decor, few elements have the power to transform a space as effectively as wall art. Blank, dull walls can make a dorm room feel impersonal and uninspiring. However, with the proper selection of wall art, you can inject your personality, passions, and style into the room, turning it into a cozy sanctuary that genuinely feels like home.

Posters and Prints:

Posters and prints are classic dorm room decorations that allow you to showcase your interests and create a focal point. Whether you're a movie buff, a sports enthusiast, an art lover, or a nature admirer, there's a poster or print that can reflect your passions. From iconic movie posters and famous art reproductions to breathtaking landscapes and motivational quotes, you can find a wide array of options to suit your taste.

Wall Decals:

For a temporary yet stylish wall art solution, consider using wall decals. These adhesive stickers are available in various designs, from intricate patterns to inspirational phrases. They are easy to apply and remove without leaving any marks, making them perfect for dorm room decorating. Wall decals can instantly add visual interest to your walls and be easily swapped out whenever you desire a change.

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String Lights

String lights are a must-have dorm decor item that can instantly elevate the ambiance of your living space. They are versatile, affordable, and easy to use, making them a popular choice among college students to add a touch of magic and coziness to their rooms. Nobody likes dealing with bleak hospital fluorescent lighting in a space they're supposed to be living in for a year. Adding string lights can be an excellent replacement for dorm lighting since they can be harsh on the eyes and make it feel more inviting.

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DIY Crafts

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of creating your own personalized decor. Creating decorations allows you to infuse your personal style and creativity into every aspect of your living space. Not only are DIY projects fun and fulfilling, but they are also cost-effective, making them perfect for college students on a budget. Customized


Turn a simple corkboard into a functional and stylish piece by personalizing it with your favorite fabric or decorative paper. Use adhesive spray to attach the material to the corkboard's surface, and voilà, you have a custom bulletin board to display photos, notes, and reminders.


Create a dreamy and bohemian vibe in your dorm room by making your own dreamcatcher. You can use a hoop or embroidery hoop as the base and then weave yarn, thread, or twine in intricate patterns. Add feathers, beads, and charms to complete the look. Hanging your DIY dreamcatcher above your bed will add a decorative element and a touch of whimsy and positivity.

Painted Mason Jars:

Mason jars are incredibly versatile and can be used in your dorm room for various purposes. Get creative and paint the jars with your favorite colors or designs. To create a cozy atmosphere, you can use them as pen holders, flower vases, or even tea-light candle holders.

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Plants and Greenery

Incorporating plants and greenery can make a significant difference when it comes to transforming your dorm room into a cozy and inviting space. They add a touch of nature to an otherwise sterile environment and provide a myriad of benefits that contribute to your overall well-being and productivity.

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Fairy Tail Canopy

Adding a fairy tale canopy over your bed is one of the most enchanting ways to transform your dorm room into a cozy sanctuary. This simple yet magical addition can instantly elevate the ambiance and make your sleeping space feel like a dreamy oasis.

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Colorful Rugs

Dorm rooms can often feel cold and sterile, but a colorful rug can instantly transform the environment into a warm and inviting space. The soft texture of the rug under your feet will add a layer of comfort and coziness, making your room more enjoyable and conducive to relaxation. After a long day of classes and studying, having a cozy space to unwind can be incredibly comforting.

Whether you prefer bold and vibrant colors or soft pastel tones, you can find a rug that suits your taste and complements your overall dorm decor theme. Rugs with unique patterns or quirky designs can serve as conversation starters and add an element of fun to your living space.

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I hope this list has provided you with some inspiration for adding your personal touch to your dorm room. College can be challenging, and adjustments might not come quickly. However, having a space to call your own, adorned with decor that makes you feel comfortable, can make a significant difference.

Remember not to wait until the last minute to purchase your dorm essentials. Happy shopping, and enjoy creating your cozy and personalized space!

If you need more guidance on what to bring for college, check out this article: Top 10 Must-Bring Items for College!

Williana Serve
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Williana is currently a freshman in college. She likes to learn new things especially involving Law & Advocacy. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she can be found watching TikTok, YouTube, or reading.